Ho Chi Minh City police on Tuesday said they had arrested three teenagers and were searching for two others suspected of robbing several people, including foreign tourists, in the city downtown.
Huynh Minh Huy, 17, Pham Ngoc Thanh, 15, and Tran Hoang Phat, 13, were arrested last Saturday. Phat has been transferred to a social welfare center due to his young age.
The police are now searching for Nguyen Huu Tai, 16, and a boy known only as Kiet.
Tai is believed to be the leader of another related teen gang that attacked a German couple who were sitting near the Tau Hu Canal in District 1 on October 19 to rob their belongings.
The group attacked the man with bricks and knives as he was trying to resist. They took away some valuables.
District 1’s police then arrested all the five gang members, aged 11-16. But they were then released given their young age.
On December 2, Tai allegedly asked Huy, Thanh, Phat and Kiet to join his scheme to rob couples near the canal.
They waited one hour after midnight and spotted a Vietnamese couple who were sitting on the bank.
They rushed to grab some belongings from the couple, who tried to resist. The teenagers attacked them with knives.
As the couple screamed for help, some passers-by arrived at the scene. The teenagers ran away.
Police said these teen gang members were homeless and usually gathered to rob couples near canals.